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Journalist’s homelessness exposé for weekly wins national award nomination

Emma YouleA regional journalist faces national competition after being nominated for a prestigious award for campaigning and investigative journalism.

Emma Youle, left, of Archant’s investigations unit, has been nominated for the Paul Foot Award for an investigation she ran for the Hackney Gazette, which revealed the extent of the borough’s hidden homelessness problems.

Emma used a combination of freedom of information requests, undercover reporting, witness testimony and digging through records to reveal human stories and institutional failing.

The five week-long campaign resulted in the Hackney Gazette securing commitments from local politicians and authorities to devote more energy to solving the borough’s problems.

The award, run by satirical magazine Private Eye, was first set up in 2005 in memory of investigative journalist Paul Foot.

It was discontinued after 2015, but revived again this year.

Emma is on a shortlist of seven which also includes The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor, who unveiled a historical sexual abuse scandal in English professional football which has led to hundreds of alleged victims coming forward.

Th other nominees are Will Hurst, from the Architects’ Journal, Billy Kenber, from The Times, Energydesk’s Maeve McClenaghan and Crina Boros, the Daily Mail’s Katherine Faulkner, and Daniel Balint-Kurti and Leigh Baldwin, from Global Witness.

Emma told HTFP: “I am absolutely stunned and delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award and would like to thank Private Eye.

“Archant’s Investigations Unit is still a relative newcomer and it is awesome to receive this national recognition alongside such incredible competition. Good luck to all the nominees.

“My thanks also to everyone who took part in The Hidden Homeless campaign, particularly those who bravely told their stories of daily life lived in tiny hostel rooms in Hackney.”

The winning entry will be awarded £5,000 at an evening awards ceremony on 20 June at BAFTA, London.

The accolade was won by Deborah Wain, then a journalist with the Doncaster Free Press, in 2007.